Immigration to the UK slashed by 27.8% in twelve months; number of visas issued for study slips 20% to 209,804, 'new' EU immigration -27%—
Asad Yawar (@Mediolana) March 03, 2013
Tag Archives: David Cameron
As long-term denizens of Western Europe’s most unkempt metropolis, we at Mediolana feel especially well-placed to comment on goings on in London; today’s edition of the London Evening Standard, the sole remaining post-morning commute title dedicated to the UK capital, left us convinced that both the city and the country at large are in for some extraordinarily tricky times in the months and years to come.
The front page led on the unfolding ‘descent into chaos‘ faced by the eurozone in the light of Italy’s sovereign debt crisis, a slow-burning debacle that may well break the European Financial Stability Facility (‘EFSF’) barely eighteen months after its inception. But what caught our eyes was a quote from Prime Minister David Cameron urging the creation of a ‘firewall’ of ‘solid figures’ in order ‘to stop this contagion going any further’; we raised our collective eyebrows. The notion that one can somehow halt the eurozone crisis in its tracks simply by producing a balance sheet that is a model of clarity is sadly naive; there are profound structural economic defects across much of Europe – not just the eurozone – which are the product of years of misguided policy. Nevertheless, we trusted that Cameron had been influenced by another night reinstalling Kaspersky on a Downing Street laptop, and were content to leave it at that.
But while attempting to get a fix of football – a forlorn hope, as it turned out – on the back pages, we spied the Prime Minister’s words once more, this time blasting FIFA’s decision not to permit the English and Welsh football associations to modify their national uniforms with poppies for the forthcoming round of internationals. Cameron termed their verdict – later overruled – as ‘outrageous and absurd‘; the English FA’s response was to enact a series of steps which would do everything but make the tattooing of poppies on the forehead of every spectator a mandatory condition of admission to Wembley Stadium.
Were our eyes deceiving us? Was the Prime Minister of Great Britain in a position to seemingly devote almost as much time to solving the ‘Poppy Crisis’ as to giving his considered response to the burning of Rome? Or perhaps the protestors now becoming a medium-term fixture in London - first in St. Paul’s, then spreading into the heart of the city at Trafalgar Square – and well-meaning observers are unaware that the real collapse is not in the financial markets and the economy at large, but in the integrity of those masters of symbolic interpretation dwelling in the far-off corridors of Zürich. How could they – and we – have been so unfocused?
As a company with its headquarters in what is currently Western Europe’s most besieged metropolis, Mediolana is well-placed to proffer comment on the continuing rioting that has spread across London since 6th August 2011. While acres of news coverage have been dedicated to such developments as the ransacking of Wood Green and the deployment of thousands of extra police officers on the streets of the capital of the United Kingdom, there has been little convincing analysis of what has engendered the city-wide public disorder. Commentators and politicians – mainly on the left – have pointed to stringent government cuts as the source of the disaffection; those on the political right have cited a ‘broken and detached‘ Britain wracked by gang violence.
However, we at Mediolana think that the August 2011 London riots can be explained better within the following context:
1. The Destruction of Value. The United Kingdom is a country which, during the past decade, has seen its economy suffer severe destruction of capital value at the hands of an often feral financial sector. This culminated in the central government bailing out former fiscal behemoths, a process that is still ongoing and which has cost the taxpayer a sum in the trillions of pounds. Given that such world-class gouging has occurred within the same cityscape – unpunished – we should perhaps not be surprised at members from less fortunate demographic groups echoing a similar ‘winning’ logic in their actions.
2. A Hyperreal Cult of Adrenalin. A generation which has been raised in a virtual environment – often bereft of parental love or even presence – is now coming to fruition. Making the connection between their actions and the concomitant consequences may not be the simple task – on either a neurological or ethical level – that previous eras held it to be.
3. Moral Neutrality. In a culture where moral relativism is the norm and where countries can be invaded by lawyers via remote control, both private property and public space are mere aggregates to be subjected to power. The cultivation of virtue and the preservation of dignity are stripped bare from society like so many mobile telephones from a Carphone Warehouse wall.